Building a Digitally Resilient Workforce:
Creating On-Ramps to Opportunity

Executive Summary

To drive broad-based economic growth and unlock opportunity for all Americans, we must support digital skills development for the 32 million Americans who cannot use a computer, and half of all Americans who are not comfortable learning online. Our inaugural report highlights the urgency—and imperative—of this work, and identifies opportunities to fill some of the most pressing gaps in access to technology and training and supports for digital upskilling. Together, we can help individuals build the digital resilience to thrive not only in today’s world of work—but also tomorrow’s.

 

Digital inequity exacerbates existing disparities and constrains the US economy.

With technology transforming our workplaces and daily life, we are at a critical crossroads on our journey to build a resilient workforce and economic mobility for all Americans. Access remains a stubborn barrier to upskilling. 20 million Americans don’t have access to broadband internet. 73% of service sector workers lack skills to solve problems in digital environments, and less than 10% can access opportunities to improve their digital literacy and other foundational skills.

As leaders, we must take action immediately to create nothing less than a movement for digital skills equivalent to the universal high school of the early 20th Century.

Over the last year, the Digital US coalition has conducted a landscape scan of the biggest gaps in access to digital skills development for learner workers at risk of being left behind in our digital economy. It has also identified promising efforts to close these gaps that we need to align and support, as well as areas of need for new delivery models and innovation.

Together, Digital US Coalition members are leading efforts to:

Raise awareness of the importance of digital resilience, in order to engage diverse stakeholders and spur investment and partnership from employers and others to drive increased access to technology and connectivity, development of essential digital skills, and digital equity
Innovate and scale new delivery models to improve access to supports for digital inclusion and technology training -- including through drop-in supports at locations learner-workers frequent and infusing digital skills instruction into delivery of all education and social services
Serve as a clearinghouse for evaluating and sharing effective practices and models to increase access and improve interventions and to align disparate efforts for impact
Educate decision-makers on practices they can implement under existing policies to remove barriers to digital inclusion as well as policies that must change in order to develop a more equitable digital future for all of US